Valtra Inc., a brand of AGCO, manufacturer of agricultural equipment, has taken the decision to begin limited serial production of dual-fuel biomethane tractors during the course of 2013. The company says it is the first tractor manufacturer in the world to begin serial production of biogas tractors.
Valtra has undertaken systematic research and develop into biogas tractor technology in recent years. A four-cylinder N Series prototype biogas tractor was unveiled in summer 2010, followed by a six-cylinder T Series biogas tractor in autumn 2011.
The model chosen for limited serial production is the 110-horsepower N101. This dual-fuel tractor can run on both transportation grade biomethane or natural gas and diesel. In dual-fuel engines, a mixture of biomethane or natural gas and diesel is injected into the cylinders. The small amount of diesel combusts under comprehension, while 70 to 80 percent of power is produced from the biomethane. The tractor can also be driven on diesel alone if biomethane is not available.
The biomethane solution does not limit the use of the tractor for different tasks, conditions or implements. The biomethane tractor promotes the use of renewable energy in agriculture and forestry, as well as in municipal contracting. When both biomethane and biodiesel are used for the fuel, the tractor runs on completely renewable energy.
Using biomethane can also generate significant savings in fuel costs. Registering the N101 dual-fuel tractor will require special approval in each market, as common emissions regulations have not yet been agreed for such vehicles.
(This article compiled using information from a Valtra Inc. press release)